High School Field Hockey Manages to Continue During Pandemic

Field hockey may not be as glamorous as football, basketball, or soccer. Still, it has one advantage over other sports; according to an article in The Oregonian, it has been proven to be safer during the pandemic. However, like all sports during this second wave of the pandemic, field hockey teams have to rethink how they play to keep the sport fun and safe.

The article, entitled, “As sports return, how much coronavirus risk is involved in playing? A sport-by-sport look,” reported that field hockey, when played outdoors, is one of the safest sports. Also, it is a long-distance passing game, which keeps some distance between the players. However, there are times when the team has to be close together and ready to block people. In our local area, sports teams are trying to come up with brighter and safer ideas.

“The state and county athletics officials have developed safety guidelines and procedures to allow our student athletes to participate in our sports and activities during the COVID-19′ lockdowns’,” explained Lizzie McManus, who coaches Field Hockey at McLean High School. “Many aspects of our practice sessions look very different from pre-COVID times, but we are grateful for the opportunity to be together playing the sport we love.”

One of those differences is that there are both physical on-site meetings and google meetings. McManus noted that there are downsides as well. They can only meet once a week and have to try to stay socially distant while doing so.

“The virus continues to affect some attendance. The student athletes demonstrate responsibility when they contact me to let me know that they are unable to attend due to symptoms or possible contact with those with symptoms,” McManus said. “Dealing with new arrival and departure procedures has become problematic in some ways, but we are all in the same boat as McLean HS coaches choosing to offer these sessions for our interested student-athletes.”

McManus noted that students are all in different mindsets during these unusual circumstances. Some student-athletes, she said, are unable to attend and dedicate time to the field hockey sessions, which she was careful to note is ok. She acknowledged that school work is piling up, and sometimes their focus remains elsewhere. However, some take the outlet the field hockey sessions provide, socially, emotionally, and physically.

“I have learned that it’s important for all of us (at all times) to respect the differences in all of us…and appreciate them,” she said.

With covid spreading and people staying indoors constantly, it has been hard to continue the normal schedule of activities. The county and country just want to have people taking the right precautions and being careful in all activities. For the future of field hockey, we will just have to see what the virus is like in the next couple of months while continuing to make things safer for everybody.